I'm somewhat astonished by some of the comments on the main page. People seem to not understand the concept of a person not reporting a sexual assault. Comments like "But what is more important, her feelings or stopping a rapist?" Are you kidding me? Obviously, the ideal situation (well, less than ideal because a rape is involved) is that the person is charged and punished. But it's not as easy as that.

I've mentioned before that I was a secondary witness in a rape case. My childhood best friend didn't report at first - she was terrified of her stepfather, the rapist - and I kept her secret for years. Yes, I felt terrible and guilty and pushed her to report but I respected her wishes and totally understood why she was scared. He threatened to kill her whole family if she told. When she finally reported, the process took an extremely long time. She had to repeat her story over and over to the police, to the lawyer, and finally, in the court room. The defense lawyer called ME a liar, I can't even imagine what he said to her. It was utterly traumatic. He was charged and deported but that certainly is not always the case. My friend was terrified that no one would believe her. Her lawyer told me that me being a witness was one of the reasons we had a good chance of winning.

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The people who report their assaults are brave individuals, no doubt. But lets not vilify people who don't. They are still victims. They are still survivors.